For the sick cats we think about what does a distemper shot do for cats. Now we are going to discuss what vaccinations cats need. Every state requires different vaccinations and rabies vaccinations at different intervals so check with your state as far as rabies vaccination is concerned. A vaccination is preventive medicine and what it is doing is building immunity of the cat’s body toward viral infections. There are several different types of vaccinations that we use especially for outdoor cats. The first we always talk about is rabies vaccination and rabies vaccination is to prevent the viral infection from rabies that is generally seen in the wild cat population and the wild life population such as raccoons and skunks, bats, things like that. Rabies vaccination does vary from state to state as far as how often they have to receive that. These vaccinations are given under the skin generally once a year and are very effective at preventing rabies. Another vaccination that we give to cats depending on their age and if they are going to be indoor/outdoor is distemper which is essentially an easy term of upper respiratory infections in cats.
This is what prevents that. This is rhinotracheitiscasey and panleukopenia. Those are three different viruses that cats get and can get that can be devastating to them so this is a great prevention to keep your cats healthy and to rent those diseases. The third one that we very commonly give especially to outdoor cats is the feline leukemia vaccine. Feline leukemia is a virus that can be contracted through bite wounds, fights, and sexual behavior. Essentially this type of virus is one of those that can be deadly if they contract it. They can contract it and have it for a while and they can give this to other cats and then eventually they can succumb to the disease. Rabies vaccination is to prevent rabies which again is seen in the wildlife population more than anything else and that is a fatal disease but it can be very very well prevented. All these vaccines are generally drawn up and are liquid form and are given under the skin depending on how often that can be once a year to every three years. Also when they are kittens they have to be boosted, generally one vaccine followed by another one two to three weeks later and generally followed by a third one depending on which vaccine is used.
Basically, most people will agree that your cat, when it’s a kitten needs its shots, that’s the distemper and the rabies package. You usually get, the kitten usually gets the first set when they’re about eight weeks old, and then they get another one about three weeks after that, or twelve weeks after that, depending on the vet, and then you’ll get another booster a year later. Where we get in to the controversy is with some of the other shots that, that some vets recommend. The history of the annual booster shot was basically that veterinarians started recommending them as a way of getting people to come in to see the vet to get an annual check up to have a cat have an annual check up. Having your, bringing your cat in for an annual check up is very important, getting a shot is not.
Most cats, just like with people, you get that, you get your shot to fight off bacterial infections, and, and then you really don’t need more of them throughout your life. If you, if you’re dubious about this, you can always ask your vet to do a titter test, which basically means that the vet will do a test to see if your cat is still producing the antibodies to the, the illness that it was vaccinated for. And if your cat’s still producing antibodies, then clearly it does not need to have a booster vaccination. Association of feline veterinarian practitioners is currently saying about once every three years for booster shots, which is, again, a little controversial with the holistic community, but it’s a lot, lot less conservative then the annual booster, which most people now are, most vets are now agreeing is really not necessary, of course you can discuss it with your vet. We should definitely talk about some of the other shots, like the feline leukemia shot, and then feline, FIV shot. The reason that I wanted to have Henry in the video with me is that Henry has FIV. I adopted him as an FIV positive cat. He acquired FIV while living as a street cat in Los Angeles.
Basically, cats, the cats that get FIV are un-neutered street toms, because they get in a lot of fights. The only way for a cat to transmit FIV is through a deep bite wound. I did a lot of research about this before adopting Henry because I wanted to be sure that my other cats would be safe when I brought him in to the household. And Doctor Peterson at UC Davis in California, he is the head of the small animal veterinary research program there, and he’s actually the one who discovered the FIV virus, and his recommendation was against getting the vaccination, and here’s why: If your cat get vaccinated for the FIV virus and then it gets lost and it gets taken in to a shelter or a rescue center somewhere, they will do a test on that cat to see if it’s FIV positive, and it will show as an FIV positive because it has had the vaccination, because the vaccination causes the cat to make antibodies to the virus, and the test for FIV tests for the presence of the antibodies.
And more likely than not, that cat will be put down. So, the risk of the cat getting put down because it comes up FIV positive is a lot higher than the risk of the cat actually contracting FIV if it is neutered and living in a stable home environment.